• Barnegat Lighthouse, New Jersey

Long Beach Island in Ocean County

Barnegat Light is a spectacular photography location.  Barnegat Lighthouse in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County. You can do photography here during the day and at night.

We love this location because of the dark skies, which allow us to shoot the milky way during the ideal conditions. This area is quiet mid-week, and the crowds are not huge, which is perfect when trying to relax while also doing some shooting.  You can sit on the beach by day and shoot the milky way by night if you choose. You have many options. There is a great motel just a few blocks from the Barnegat Light House.

Long Beach Island ) is a barrier island and summer colony along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ocean County, New Jersey, in the United States. Aligned north to south, the northern portion generally has more expensive low-density housing, whereas the southern part possesses higher-density housing and considerable commercial development. The primary industries include tourism, fishing, and real estate. The only access point to the island by land is a single causeway.

The island is home to about 20,000 people on a year-round basis.

How You Brewin?

Barnegat Light, N.J. L.B.I Milky Way Photography


Great Coffee at a Great Price!

Where to go for coffee before milky way photography on Long Beach Island, you ask? This is the only place to go in this area. How you Brewing? The coffee at the Inlet Deli on Broadway was very weak compared to the perfect cup of coffee you will get here. At the Inlet Deli, the breakfast sandwich was expensive and not filling. The Anti-President soda cans on the counter were offensive, and the overall experience was not fabulous. The coffee and the lack of eggs on the egg sandwich is the reason we will not return. Considering lunch meat is a cancer causer, we would not go here for lunch either. There is a restaurant next to the lighthouse, but they only take cash.

Private Jet Photo Tours out of New Jersey

How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography

What you will need:

Light pollution map – light pollution map

Camera – You will need a camera that you can manually control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

Lens – A fast wide-angle lens of 1.4 – 2.8 is ideal. If you use a 3.5 or higher (slower lens), you will have to increase the ISO. The higher the ISO, the more grain or digital noise or grain that will appear in your photos.

Tripod – A good sturdy tripod is essential for night photography. If it gets windy, you will need a sturdy one. Keep that in mind, when you buy one, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the wind but small enough to fit in your suitcase.

Sky Map – Sky Guide is available through the iTunes Store for $1.99. It has a 5 out of 5-star rating on both the current (3.2) version (1200+ ratings) and all previous versions (8600+ ratings).

Flashlight –  Our choice is Coast brand for flashlights. The ideal flashlight will have high lumens, and you will be able to zoom the in and out on the amount of light emitting from the flashlight. Get the HP7, PX45, or the G50. Ideally, go with the  HP7.

Moon Phaze Map – The best time to go is during a new moon, and you want to be in the darkest area possible. The week before the new moon, when the moon has not risen, is a perfect time to go, so be sure to check the moonrise chart to see when the moon will be up.

Remote Shutter Release – When painting with light and you want to go over a 30-second exposure, you must have a shutter release to use your bulb mode. When exposing your pictures in general, you can use the remote release, or you can use your camera’s built-in two-second timer.

Milky Way Photography – Barnegat Light, N.J. L.B.I Milky Way Photography

Use a Tripod – First, you must be on a tripod. A good sturdy tripod is necessary if it is windy. If the tripod moves, your picture will blur.

Focus – Use live view.  Use your camera’s live view to focus in the dark, hit the zoom button, and focus on a bright star. You can also use the infinity setting on your lens but do several test shots to see if it is accurate. It can be off a little on some lenses. You can also light it up with a flashlight, focus, then gently without touching the focus ring, put the camera in manual focus so it will not search for the focus. You would have to do this each time you move your camera to take your next angel.

ISO – Start with ISO 1600 – 3200.  This is just a common starting point, and you will adjust from here.

Shutter Speed – Remember, the earth is rotating. If you leave the shutter open for too long, you will see star trails that will not make for a crisp image. We want crisp non-star trail images. Here is the formula to avoid star trails. The 500 rule – Divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. So, if you have a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, you will set your shutter speed to 20 sec. (500/24 = 20.83). If you are using a crop sensor camera, first do the math of the crop sensor to find the focal length. Cannon is 1.6, Nikon is 1.5. Convert to full-frame focal length then use the formula. Nikon 18mm x 1.5= 27mm – 500/27 = 18.51 seconds.

Aperture – Depth of field isn’t critical on these shots, but letting the light into the camera is; therefore, you should shoot wide open. If the depth of field is essential to you, try not to go too high. (wide open =the lowest aperture your camera will allow). You will have to increase the ISO some, which will give you digital noise.

Some white balance suggests; when in live view mode, you can change your white balance settings and see what it will look like. You can shoot in shade or cloud mode as a standard setting and adjust things later.

When to view the Milkyway – Barnegat Light, N.J. L.B.I Milky Way Photography

The best images are usually of the dense part of the Milky Way. We can see this part of the milk way in the southern sky. During March, April, and May, the milky way rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn hours. In June, at about 10:00 p.m., you will see the milky way.  From July until October, you can see the milky way as soon as the sunsets, and it becomes dark enough to see, which is about an hour after sunset. In November, the milky way no longer comes above the horizon. You will have to wait until March if you want to stay away really late or get up early to see her again.

area information - photography



Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Entrance Fees: None

The 32-acre park was created in 1957. The lighthouse is the main attraction, which you can climb for one dollar during summer. Parking is free. Climb to the top to see the surrounding area.

The lighthouse is open (weather permitting) every day from April 1 through October 31, 9 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. From April 1 through October 31, it is open from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, Wednesday through Sunday.

Don’t park in the parking lot to do milky way photography. Park just outside of it. They lock the gates at night. You can stay in the park all night long. We met a new friend while doing milky way photog here, and he was considering staying until sunrise.

A must-see when visiting Long Beach Island.



Where to Stay While Visiting Barnegat Light

Add your campground here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are really good at getting there in the dark.

Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email.  You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.

The best hotels while doing photography


The North Shore Inn Barnegat Light

This Motel offers you everything you need immaculate rooms and great management at one of the best prices in the area. Look no further.

This is our choice for motels in the Barnegat Light area.We highly recommend you stay here!

The inn has spacious rooms with air conditioning/heat, secure and FREE wireless internet, cable TV, and daily maid service.
All rooms have convenient outside access and are ALL non-smoking.

Most people who come to the island’s north end want a quiet,  relaxing stay.  They accomplish this. Our stay was peaceful and relaxing around our photography journey.

Add your hotel here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost hunting friends to your hotel for their ghost hunting or photography trip? Put your hotel information here. We will put a picture of your hotel, the website link, the phone number and your information on your hotel.

Would you like to be a featured hotel like this article or this one?  Please send us an email.  You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.



 Barnegat Light Restaurants:

Daymark Restaurant

We had a great experience at the Daymark Restaurant in Barnegat Light. It was only a block or so from our milky way night photography location at the lighthouse. The restaurant had a modern, elegant style and outstanding service!

What made our experience special, aside from our top-notch service, was the manager. He took a great interest in our desire to see more vegetarian dishes on the menu. He had a passion for him to bring and excellence to this business. He listened intently to suggestions and showed his devotion to the company. We enjoyed speaking with someone who showed genuine concern and had an outstanding work ethic, one of a caliber that is hard to come by.

Add your Restaurant here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your restaurant after their ghost-hunting trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are really good at getting there in the dark.



Click here to see what the weather is near the location.

Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO such as 100.

If you are doing photography along with your ghost hunting on cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get a long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places be careful!

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We don’t go anywhere without our Think Tank Camera Bags. Special offer!

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